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Institutions Forge Alliance to Explore the Most Effective Method for Increasing Braille Literacy Among Blind And Visually Impaired Students

News Release: Louisville, Kentucky, January 13, 2003

The American Printing House for the Blind has been providing $400,000.00 over a five-year period for the first in-depth, longitudinal study of the progress of young braille readers. The study is being undertaken because of the concern of professionals and parents that children who are blind are not acquiring literacy skills that may reflect their capabilities.

The study is designed to discover whether there are significant differences in the reading, writing, and spelling skills of children who begin to learn to read with uncontracted braille and those who begin to learn to read with contracted braille. The research team will be lead by Dr. Anne Corn, of Vanderbilt University, Ed.D, Professor of Special Education, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.

Today, most students begin by learning the contracted braille system. Until the 1950’s, students learned the uncontracted system, first. The study will follow a group of students who are initially taught uncontracted braille and another group who are initially taught contracted braille in order to discover whether the two methods produce differences in students’ progress in the following areas:

  1. reading efficiency, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, attitude toward reading, and reading achievement levels
  2. writing, vocabulary, attitude toward writing, and spelling abilities
  3. the quality and quantity of literacy and interactive experiences in general education classrooms, the home environment, and in the community

Team Members

The parameters and concept for the study were developed by a group that included team leader, Anne L. Corn, Ed. D, Vanderbilt University, and other researchers:

Contact Roberta Williams, Public Affairs and Special Projects Manager, for more information. Telephone: 1 -800-223-1839 or (502) 895-2405; e-mail: email hidden; JavaScript is required